The good news is that Nicalis’ 3DS port of Terry Cavanagh’s platform puzzler has, according to a tweet by the publisher, passed Nintendo of Europe’s approval, and will launch in the European 3DS eShop on May 10, 2012.
The bad news is that this means Nintendo is going to have a lot of 3DS repairs to carry out over the coming weeks.
You see, VVVVVV is tough in that way you might expect a platform game with no jump button to be peculiarly tough. It’s a bit like making a first person shooter and then refusing to give the player a gun. Although, that is kind of like Goldeneye in Slaps mode, which was riotously awesome so perhaps not.
No, VVVVVV is cruel and vindictive, Cavanagh drawing you in with the reassuring chunky pixel aesthetic, before repeatedly smacking your head against your own reflexive shortcomings.
But it’s also relentlessly fair in that way any ‘difficult’ game must be if it wants to retain the interest of its player. The game provides regular checkpoints to allow you to ‘bank’ progression quick and often, breaking the otherwise insurmountable challenge into manageable chunks.
It’s unflinching in its rules and, unusually for a game released in 2012, you finish the game with exactly the same set of tools and abilities with which you began.
You play as a space jelly baby working his way through a sci-fi rendering of Manic Miner’s caves while Cavanagh’s core conceit – that a switch of the button flips gravity to the ceiling becomes the floor and vice versa (think: mine cart level in Gunstar Heroes), provides the raw material from which the designer spins a dizzying number of set-piece conundrums.
The result is spectacular, understated and fiendish and the prospect of being able to chip away at the adventure while on the move (providing your 3DS battery lasts the train journey etc etc) is enticing. No word yet on pricing, although the US version costs $7.99, so expect a comparable price tag.
If you’re unsure about the whole thing, pop along here to try out a free Flash version of the game, or watch the trailer below.